Imperfect Unions: Security Institutions over Time and Space

Imperfect Unions: Security Institutions over Time and Space

Imperfect Unions: Security Institutions over Time and Space

Imperfect Unions: Security Institutions over Time and Space


International institutions play important roles in political-military issues as well as in economic and environmental affairs. Indeed, it is impossible to understand efforts to resolve regional and local conflicts, or the form and pace of alliance formation and expansion, without paying attention to security institutions. Imperfect Unions discusses a wide variety of security institutions, including NATO, the Western European Union, United Nations peacekeeping, the ASEAB Regional Forum, and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. It describes changes in security institutions, documents the effects of such institutions on national policies, and explores the conditions that affect the patterns of co-operation and discord that ensue. The book helps to improve our understanding of recent developments in international relations such as NATO enlargement and the regionalization of peacekeeping. In theoretical terms, it shows how institutionalist approaches, such as those represented in this volume, can enrich the important field of security studies.


This book is a truly international collaborative endeavour by American and German academics. It owes much to the commitment and support of a number of institutions and persons on both sides of the Atlantic. First of all, it would not have been possible without the generous support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Max Planck Society which awarded Helga Haftendorn the 1995 Max Planck Prize (Forschungspreis für Internationale Kooperation) and of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University which, over a number of years, supported both the project and the study group on alliances that preceded it. Helga Haftendorn enjoyed the Weatherhead Center's hospitality as a Visiting Fellow during the spring semester of 1998 with the generous support of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, and Robert Keohane and Celeste Wallander were guests at the Center on Foreign and Security Policy Research of the Free University of Berlin in November 1995 and May 1997 respectively.

Since 1995, editors and participants in this joint project on security institutions have met a number of times. At three conferences, in May 1996 in Berlin, and in March and September 1997 in Cambridge, the outline of the book and the individual chapters were thoroughly discussed. in this process, a number of Americans and Germans participated who could not contribute chapters, but who gave very valuable inputs into the discussions: Robert Art, Peter Barschdorff, Marc Busch, Nikolas Busse, Colin Elman, Page Fortna, Susanne Feske, Gunther Hellman, Otto Keck, Vera Klauer, Michael Kreft, Jeff Legro, Lisa Martin, Andy Moravcsik, Dan Reiter, Tim Snyder, Olaf Theiler, and Reinhard Wolf. of special assistance were Genevieve Libonati, Michael Hoch, Lois Kaznicki, George Scialabba, and Heidi Strecker who checked the manuscript for style, transcribed corrections, or organized meetings.

It has been a demanding project for all who participated. It was also great fun; it increased our mutual understanding for the different academic cultures on both sides of the Atlantic, and it will, as the editors hope, further our thinking about international institutions, how they change, and the impact they have on states.

H.H., R.O.K., and C.A.W.

Berlin, Durham, and Cambridge . . .

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